Kentish Express Ashford & District

Date set for cycle ride as charity funds plummet

Revenues for hospice down 90% every week of lockdown

- By Gerry Warren gwarren@thekmgroup.co.uk Visit www.pilgrimsho­spices. org/event/pilgrims-hospices-cycle-challenge-2021

The Pilgrims Hospice is hoping to get its vital fundraisin­g back on track with the relaunch of its popular annual cycle ride.

It was cancelled twice last year because of the pandemic but the charity has set a new provisiona­l date for a ‘Covid-secure’ event on Sunday, May 2.

Bosses say revenues are down 90% for every week its shops are shut due to the lockdown.

Over the last decade, the ride has proved the hospice’s biggest single fundraiser, collecting more than £900,000 to support its palliative care for the terminally ill.

But the pandemic has hit the charity hard.

Pilgrims Hospice retail developmen­t manager Tim Stewart said: “The closure of all of our shops has had a devastatin­g impact on the revenue we are able to generate for the hospices.

“The only trading we are able to do is on our eBay site.

“Our site is trading well, but we are still 90% down in reve

nue for each week that the shops are closed.

“Can I ask that all our supporters save their donations for us in readiness for our reopening. Please do not leave donations outside of closed shops, this will just lead to them being thrown away, and may be regarded as

fly-tipping.”

The annual cycle ride will offer the choice of five routes from 30 miles to the new 125-mile epic, all starting and finishing at the University of Kent in Canterbury.

Special Covid-secure measures will be in place and the event

will be limited to 1,000 cyclists.

If restrictio­ns are still in place which means it cannot go ahead, organisers have pencilled in a reserve date of Sunday, August 22.

 ??  ?? The last Pilgrims Hospice ride in 2019, a vital source of income for the charity
The last Pilgrims Hospice ride in 2019, a vital source of income for the charity

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